His name doesn't show up on the scoresheet. He wasn't one of the three stars. But Blackhawks winger Andrew Ladd played a helluva game Thursday night, helping the team to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
Martin Havlat is going to draw all the headlines, and rightfully so. Havlat netted the game-tying goal at 14:27 of the third period to force the overtime. And he won it 12 seconds into the extra session.
But look at the celebration photo at left and see who is standing right in front of the net. That's Ladd. On the game-winning goal, Dave Bolland skated the puck over the blue line. Ladd was directly to Bolland's right, and he made the smart play: He drove to the front of the net and took the Calgary defenseman with him.
That opened up the space for Havlat to receive a pass from Bolland and put one past Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff for the winner.
That was an outstanding play by all three members of that forward line: Bolland made the pass. Ladd drove the net and screened the goalie. Havlat executed the shot.
Havlat and Bolland will show up on the scoresheet. But don't forget to give Ladd his credit as well.